The Arctic climate is warming quickly, at least twice as fast as the climate in the rest of the world. Especially winters are becoming warmer, but the overall effect on the Arctic (and, global) environment is throughout the year. Temperature fluctuations are normal from year to year, however, research-based evidence proves that there are significant changes (i.e. warming) in the average temperatures in the Arctic region. Some may think that warming of the (Arctic) climate is a positive thing, but in reality, it is not.
Why is Arctic warming a major risk not only for the Arctic region, but for the whole world? The warming of the Arctic region poses several serious risks, including:
- When the Greenland ice sheet melts, we lose majority of the Earth´s fresh water resources. In addition, sea levels rise and the Arctic (and, the whole world) warms at an even faster rate due to the sun´s rays and heat being absorbed increasingly powerfully by the (Arctic) ocean, which in turn ultimately leads to rising ocean temperatures. The overall rise in ocean temperature has been proven to cause stronger and more extreme hurricanes and other extreme weather events.
- The warming of the Arctic and its oceans leads to risks for all flora and fauna in the Arctic region, including species that need the ice cover, such as polar bears. While being home to thousands of species, the Arctic species are under completely new threats due to the warming climate, loss of ice and snow sheets.
- A major threat of Arctic warming includes the thawing permafrost, which currently covers an unknown amount of decayed plants and animals. When these come in contact with air (when the permafrost melts), the risks of diseases and greenhouse gases (especially methane) spreading increase manifold.
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